London Marathon training – week 7

All told, not a bad old week. A mixture of fun, speed, a bit more speed and then a real slog to round things off. Oh, and a huge dose of self awareness just to bring me crashing back down to earth.

Tuesday, 14th February, 2017
Just a little easy run tonight, very welcome after yesterday’s ten-miler. I know, I know, running on Valentine’s Day, I’m just lucky Mrs. Harris is a very understanding soul – or maybe she just wanted some peace and quiet from me!

I turned up to the club C25K session (10-6-10 splits) as much to support it as to have company to run with. I needed something gentle to shake my legs out and it was just the ticket.

As usual, it was fun and relaxed. I wasn’t chasing a time and I wasn’t chasing a distance, I just wanted a wee run without putting any pressure on myself.

Thursday, 16th February, 2017
I thought I’d try something, namely interval training. I’d never attempted it before so I’d no idea if I was doing it right or not but I decided to give it a go anyway.

Not being really sure what to do I thought I’d set the bar pretty low, so went for two minute sprints with one minute recovery times ten.

Hmmm, yes, well.

After a warm-up jog the timer went so I set off like a bat out of hell for two minutes (and, yes, Mr. Loaf *was* coincidentally playing on my Spotify playlist at the time!). For 90 seconds or so I thought this was fantastic, I was lifting my knees, striking the ground perfectly and hurtling along at a great rate.

Then I began to wonder if my timing app had crashed. What the hell had happened those final 30 seconds? Would this pain ever end? I’ve nothing left in the tank. I want to be sick. Stop! Stop! Stop!

I didn’t stop ….. but blissfully the buzzer did sound for the end of the first session. Just another nine of them to do.

Because it was my first time I decided to walk between the sprints, albeit briskly. The second sprint wasn’t as bad, but it also wasn’t as fast ….. and so on.

Thankfully I did seem to settle into the ‘sprints’ and even though they weren’t particularly fast I did put everything into them, as totally knackered and drained as I was.

An interesting experiment, all told, but one that actually made me miss doing my midweek hill session! It was hard work, very hard work, but it was supposed to be. If it makes me stronger and builds my stamina then it’ll all be worth it.

Saturday, 18th February, 2017
Or parkrun day. I didn’t intend to do it as such but I needed to go close to it this morning anyway so seeing as I was going to be close I thought I might as well go to the event, so it was on with the running gear instead of my normal *cough* high end tailored attire (jeans/t-shirt!).

I’m glad I did now.

There seemed to be a bigger than usual crowd there, although a lot of these were the C25K people who wouldn’t be taking part in the actual race … so there was still a chance I could come last, my big fear.

But I needn’t have worried. It’s always a well organised event so I’m pretty sure there was a tail runner there but, for the first time for me, I didn’t actually see one out on the course.

Once, in the past, a delightful tail runner lady effectively kicked my ass all the way around the course. I was moaning and complaining like a big baby but she wouldn’t let me give up and, of course, I was thankful for her at the end.

However, as I said, I didn’t have that issue today. Not that I was mega fast, mind you, but I was fast enough to keep the tail from my line of vision.

As usual I run in kilometres, so when my first split came in a lot faster than it normally does I was delighted, if not a little wary that I’d blow up too early … however km2 was also fast and it was at that point I knew I was in with a shout of a time that’d please me – not an easy thing to do seeing as I’m my own worst critic.

I couldn’t quite maintain that pace so I slowed a little in the middle part of the course, but only a little because I picked it up considerably over the final kilometre, although I had nothing left for a sprint in the final 200 yards – but I gave it everything I had so I can’t complain … and I wasn’t last man over the line either, it’s not often that happens!

Timewise, it was my second fastest. It was a pleasing morning out, maybe my intervals on Thursday night had the desired effect, maybe it’s just another indication that I’m getting stronger. Who knows, but I’ll take it.

Sunday, 19th February, 2017
Seven weeks down, nine to go. Almost at the halfway point and this has been the toughest week yet.

You’ll recall yesterday that I set my second best parkrun time. I came away from that feeling pleased with myself, and then eagerly awaited the pictures going up on the event Facebook page. Surely, I thought, I’m getting faster therefore I must be getting a bit trimmer and maybe my pictures wouldn’t be as awful as they usually are.

Wrong! They were worse. Absolutely horrific. Facial expressions are one thing, I get that, no-one looks good running, but it was the rest of me. Talk about a rude awakening!

The net effect of that? I’m running in the dark again, wearing dark clothes and choosing routes that are likely to be as people free as possible.

I was supposed to go for my run today in the morning – it was scheduled to be 11.5 miles – with the purpose of getting it over and done with to allow my legs time to recover all day so that I’ll get a decent nights sleep.

In order to do that in the dark I need to get up really early, have my breakfast, allow it to settle and then head out. So, this morning, I did get up suitably early but after feeding the cat and having something to eat I felt really tired so went back to bed intending to snooze for half-an-hour or so.

Yeah, right. It was almost midday when I finally woke from my slumber. Obviously much too bright and much too busy to even comprehend going out for a run.

That left the only option to wait until the evening. Therefore, come 5:30pm off I went to tackle my 11.5 miles. Damn me and my insecurities.

Yesterday was such a busy day, I amassed over 23,000 steps, so my legs felt heavy all day and I didn’t expect much from my run – and I didn’t get much either.

Yes, I did it, all 11.5 miles of it, but I didn’t enjoy it. It was a battle throughout but it was a battle I simply had to win.

My pace wasn’t awful. It wasn’t my quickest either but was more or less what I expected it to be, if not what I would have liked it to be. It kept me on marathon target time so I can’t really grumble. It was just a slog throughout, that was all.

But it also served a purpose. It was more miles in my legs, it meant I was keeping up with my training plan and it gave me another chance to fine tune my fuelling strategy (no cramp again, folks!).

I do know that on another day, without legs that weren’t already knackered, I could have gone quicker, so that’s reassuring.

Speaking of my legs, tonight was the first time this year I’ve resorted to an salt bath after my run. They felt really heavy and my feet were especially sore, although the bath and some stretching seemed to have done the trick. That’s to be expected from this point forward anyway.

Bring on week eight!

Adapted from my blog: Huff, Puff and Shuffle

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Member Blogs

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *